This guy decided to mock our future AI overlords with a GLaDOS smart assistant

As reported by our colleagues at Tom's Hardware, YouTuber Henri Rantanen, aka Nerdaxic, has decided to tempt fate and build his very own GLaDOS custom home assistant. The details of the project are available for public view over on GitHub.

The heart of the build is a Raspberry Pi 4 running Rantanen's custom Python code. He's hoping to replicate all of the functions of a more traditional home assistant, and in his latest video he demonstrates the device updating him on the weather with GLaDOS' signature synthesized voice.

A self-programmed home assistant is a neat enough idea, but Rantanen really sells the fantasy of having GLaDOS in your home with the primarily 3D printed mechanical build surrounding the computer. As of December 5, he's implemented GLaDOS' "face," complete with a mechanical eye that extends, retracts, opens, and closes in tune with the assistant's voice.

GLaDOS smart assistant

(Image credit: Henri Rantanen)

Rantanen also outlined the rig's infrared camera and facial recognition capabilities, groundwork for his next mechanical addition: a neck allowing GLaDOS to track and follow faces, imitating eye contact. Spooky!

It might seem like Rantenan is trying our luck regarding robot overlords. Indeed, in his first video on the project, Rantanen claims he is "trying to turn the most evil thing in the universe into a glorified light switch." However, Rantenan's overarching goal is to make something less scary than an Alexa or Google home:

"I wanted to control my smart home with voice, but having Amazon or Google devices creeped me out because their devices and AI are just black boxes. I have no idea what they are doing in the background, and it's out of my control."

Rantanen certainly seems to know what he's doing, I trust him not to initiate the robot uprising any time soon. You can follow his YouTube channel for future updates. 

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.